The “Pappa al Pomodoro,” or Tuscan Tomato Soup is a dish of the peasant tradition. It is derived probably from the “Pancotto” or Bread Soup, a very poor dish intended to nourish utilizing the leftovers of stale bread. The present “Pappa” is enriched with tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil. The combination of tastes is amazing, and it’s perfect to be served lukewarm or cold, especially in summer. And please do not add cheese …
1 celery stick
1 garlic clove
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 lb (600 gr) very ripe “roma” tomatoes
1/2 lb (200 gr) stale bread, diced
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
3-4 sage leaves (optional)
Peel the tomatoes and remove seed. Place the tomatoes in a bowl.
Strain the juices back with the tomatoes through a fine sieve. Avoid the seed.
Finely chop together the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. Put the olive oil in a saucepan and turn heat to medium. Add the chopped vegetable and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent.
Add the tomatoes to the pan. Add salt and pepper. Cook for about 20 minutes.
Add the bread and about 2 cups of water.
Break the basil (and optional sage) in large pieces and stir into the soup. Cook for about 5 more minutes or until the soup is consistent and not watery.
Arrange the soup in single serving dishes and top with a little extra-virgin olive oil and some basil leaves. Serve warm or cold.